A Northumbria University academic is working to support, inspire and develop future generations within the construction industry.
Professor Bob Giddings from the Department of Architecture and Built Environment is a mentor for a prestigious scholarship programme supported by The Worshipful Company of Constructors Scholarships and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), which accredits a number of Northumbria’s courses.
The scholarship sees young professionals working within the construction industry carrying out a programme of research whilst still in fulltime employment. The results of the research are presented as a written dissertation, followed by an oral presentation. A number of previous scholars have presented their findings to a Parliamentary committees and professional organisations.
Each scholarship is jointly funded by the Worshipful Company and the Chartered institute, covering areas including construction management, architectural design, project management, cost management, sustainability, conservation, maintenance and refurbishment. The scholars are guided by mentors, of which Bob is one, who attend a programme of regular review and update meetings during the scholar’s period of research.
Speaking about his role as a mentor in the programme Bob said: “I find it an interesting and rewarding challenge to help bright young people to form their proposals into feasible and useful studies. I view it as an extension of my work with undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students in the University; continuing to develop leading professionals for the construction industry.”
This year’s scholar is, Anna Koukoullis. Anna is Head of Social Value at Wilmott Dixon Interiors and alongside her day job, she is a business and career mentor, chairs the company’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team and is a Social Mobility Champion.
Anna undertook research into training and employment opportunities in construction with young people who are not in education, employment and training, known as NEETs to discover what the barriers to them joining the industry are.
When asked about her experience of the scholarship, Anna said: “The scholarship is both challenging and empowering. It has helped me to develop my confidence and find my voice as a leader to add value to the built environment.
“Bob has provided much needed mentoring and support to equip me with the skills to be able to carry out and present this research. He has been on hand throughout the process, answering questions and offering much needed feedback.”
If you are interested in finding out more about Northumbria’s Architecture and Built Environment courses, which are available at undergraduate, postgraduate, distance learning and degree apprentice levels, visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/abe for more information.